In junior high, teens don’t have the discernment to know if a friend really is a Christian.They believe that if the child says he is a Christian, then he is.It is easy to see why there is a movement of parents to replace traditional dating with a formal courtship between a young man and woman.These parents are involved in their children’s lives, seeking to protect their innocence and purity for marriage.Whom they should date As a starting point, we believe our teens should develop friendships with and eventually date only other Christians (2 Corinthians -16).Why go out with someone who does not have your values?
Help them write down the qualities they want to look for in the person they marry. That list then becomes the criteria by which all potential dates are measured.But he wasn’t ready yet to surrender his role as a parent. Just what role should parents play to steer a child away from the traps in the most popular sport for many teens—the dating game? For us, dating or courting is a small part of the overall process of determining God’s will for discovering your life partner in marriage.He hoped the conversation he was about to initiate would help close that gap. ” he asked, struggling to disguise the wobble he felt in his voice. Bill gripped the steering wheel and shot a glance into her eyes. Bill and his wife had talked before with Julie about God’s standards about sex, but soon she would be dating and making moral choices on her own. They were just a block from home, so gently but firmly, Bill pressed the final question: “Well then, would you mind telling me how far you intend to go? ” He stopped the car a few feet short of the driveway and feigned a look into the mailbox. If he had waited for a month, he wouldn’t have been ready for what she said. In our family the focus has not been on dating, but more on training our teens in their character and in how to develop a relationship with the opposite sex.It takes far more maturity than most 12- to 16-year-olds have to see that words and actions need to match.Train your teen to look for outward qualities that indicate inner character, like a good reputation at school, a self-controlled mouth, and wise driving habits, to name just a few.He had prayed for an opportunity to talk to her alone—without her three brothers around. “Oh, okay,” Julie replied, in cryptic teenage fashion. “Have you thought through how far you are going to go, physically, with the opposite sex? They wanted to encourage her to make the right ones. He knew his wife always got the mail, but Julie was acting like a basketball team ahead by one point in the fourth quarter, hoping the clock would run out. Our teens do not go out on a date every Friday and Saturday night.She looked nonchalantly out her window as their car crossed a small bridge. “I would like to ask you a very personal question and give you the freedom not to answer if you don’t want to.” He paused, waiting for her reply. Our junior high and high school age teens don’t date anyone exclusively.“Your mom and I just want to make sure you know what you stand for as you get old enough to date. We’re trying to train them to protect their emotions and not to send romantic signals to boys.And when a young man sends romantic signals to one of our daughters, we’ve talked with him and tried to keep the relationship on a friendship level.It’s not that our teens were not interested in dates beyond a friendship, but we had talked through the few pros and the many cons of exclusive dating enough that they felt changing the relationship from friendship to romance might ruin the friendship.Our teenagers would all say that their prom dates were a lot of fun. Many of the parents were involved with before-dance dinners, chaperoning the dance, and hosting after-dance activities at homes or rented facilities.